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Jeremy Lazarus

Stories by Jeremy

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State auditor concludes city doesn’t need state intervention

Richmond can handle its financial problems without the state needing to hold its hand. That’s the conclusion the state auditor of public accounts reached after reviewing the city’s information on its financial operations and holding discussions with the city’s finance officials.

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Church to become regional private school for children with disabilities

A former church is about to become the new home of a regional private school that serves children with autism and other mental challenges.

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City Council vote on meals tax hike set for Feb.12

Proving more adept at corralling a majority of City Council votes on a big issue than former Mayors L. Douglas Wilder and Dwight C. Jones, Mayor Levar M. Stoney is rushing to gain quick approval of his plan to raise the city’s current 6 percent meals tax by 1.5 cents.

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Ora Lomax to be treated at North Side dialysis center

After weeks of stress, Ora M. Lomax has learned a new clinic has accepted her for the life-saving dialysis treatments she needs.

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RRHA tenants to get refunds in lawsuit settlement

The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which is the landlord for Richmond’s public housing, has agreed to refund nearly $1 million to current and former tenants who were overcharged for electricity over four years. In addition, the RRHA plans to return nearly $80,000 to tenants as it implements new utility allowances that will increase the amount of power tenants can use before they must pay.

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City Council approves Larus Park water deal

Richmond City Council this week lifted an 18-year-old ban on development in a 106-acre city park in South Side to enable the city Department of Public Utilities to sell more water to Chesterfield County.

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Creighton Court heating work to take longer than expected

Spring will have arrived before heat is fully restored to apartments in the Creighton Court public housing community, according Orlando Artze, interim chief executive officer of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Mr. Artze confirmed Tuesday that the work to install new baseboard heat in the 78 units where radiator heating failed likely will not be complete until March 29.

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Private contractors costing city big $ for snow removal

When snow falls in Richmond, City Hall is forced to pay big bucks to private contractors to clear the streets. The reason: Up to half of the aging fleet of city dump trucks that double as snowplows are usually parked, awaiting repairs, according to a new report from the Department of Public Works.

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New report: Reforms to help drivers with suspended licenses not working

When Shaniqua Wyatt Jackson needs to go somewhere, she has to catch a ride with a friend or catch a bus. She knows how to drive, but the 37-year-old would court arrest because her driver’s license is suspended. It has been since 2015 because she could not pay the fines a Richmond judge imposed after finding her guilty of several traffic infractions.

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VUU president accused of fraud

Dr. Hakim J. Lucas was supposed to be the ideal fit when Virginia Union University’s board named the 40-year-old as the historic institution’s 13th president in August.

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RRHA finds more extensive heating problems

The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority has confirmed that heating problems are far more extensive than projected in the city’s public housing communities, which local activists have said for several months.

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City report offers grim view of future revenue, expenses

Richmond appears to be booming. Construction is underway on new apartments, commercial space and government buildings.

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Free pediatric dental clinic Friday, Feb. 2, at VCU School of Dentistry

“Give Kids a Smile” is the theme of an annual one-day program in Richmond and across the country to provide no-cost dental services to children.

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‘I was handed a death sentence’

Advocates help NAACP stalwart Ora Lomax receive life-saving dialysis after a Henrico center moves to terminate her treatment

Getting kicked out of a dialysis clinic is the worst thing that can happen to a patient with failing kidneys. But that is what 86-year-old Ora M. Lomax has been facing.

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Church Hill North project among city’s costliest new apartments

Some of the costliest apartments in Richmond are being built on the former site of Armstrong High School in the 1600 block of North 31st Street in the East End — miles away from the hot development centers of Manchester, Scott’s Addition and Downtown.

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City receives top fire protection rating

Richmond is now rated as one of the best communities for fire protection in the country, it has been announced. City Hall received notice Monday of the rating from New Jersey-based Insurance Services Office Inc., which rates nearly 45,000 communities and whose information property insurance companies use to set insurance rates on homes and businesses.

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Retired teacher Margaret Dungee, 88, dies

Margaret Inez Rollins Dungee felt called to teach. The Richmond native “loved children, delighted in seeing them learn and went to long lengths to see others obtain college educations,” her daughter, Veronica D. Abrams, stated.

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A new lease

T.K. Somanath resigns from the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority amid criticism regarding heating crisis

Battered by criticism over his handling of a heating crisis in the Creighton Court public housing community, T.K. Somanath abruptly resigned Sunday as chief executive officer of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

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Work begins in Creighton Court

Work is finally underway to restore heat in 12 buildings in the Creighton Court public housing community, a failure of a basic service that has come to symbolize the deteriorating state of Richmond’s “public housing stock.”

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Mayor Stoney proposes meals tax hike to support schools

Declaring that Richmond “is strong,” Mayor Levar M. Stoney called for “bold and courageous” action to deal with some of the city’s unmet challenges such as decaying schools and public housing.

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Bond fund to help people stay out of jail

Get arrested and you could lose your job, your home, custody of your children and anything you own if you can’t raise bail money.

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Robert M. Davis Sr., founder of construction company, dies at 74

Robert Michael Davis Sr. left his mark on hundreds of homes in Richmond and Washington. For 50 years, he was involved in building, renovating and improving residences with a quality that kept him in demand. His record in home construction and his mentorship of and encouragement to young people who worked for him to

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Federal commission approved for 400th commemoration of Africans, African-Americans in U.S.

In late August 1619, a storm-tossed English warship flying a Dutch flag stopped at one of the earliest English settlements in Virginia and changed the future of America and the world.

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Inaugural prayers mirror new governor’s themes of tolerance, unity

The Rev. Kelvin F. Jones called on new Gov. Ralph S. Northam and his leadership partners to “pursue an aggressive agenda” with a focus on “health care, a fair living wage, a thriving economy and a superb education for all” in his opening prayer at the governor’s inauguration Saturday.

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‘Tomorrow can be better’

Gov. Ralph S. Northam is sworn in as Virginia’s 73rd chief executive

“Virginians didn’t send us here to be Democrats or Republicans. They sent us here to solve problems.” So said Ralph Sherer Northam on Saturday after he was sworn in as Virginia’s 73rd governor with his wife, Pam, and children beside him.

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Dr. Morris Henderson announces his retirement at Sunday services

Dr. Morris G. Henderson announced at Sunday services that he would step down as pastor of Thirty-first Street Baptist Church on Jan. 31, ending congregational upheaval over his continued service, according to several people in attendance.

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Baliles out at City Hall

Jonathan T. “Jon” Baliles has been dumped as the senior policy adviser to Mayor Levar M. Stoney. While he is still listed in that position on the city’s website, he is gone from City Hall.

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Virginians favor keeping Confederate statues

As Richmond continues to consider the future of its Confederate statues, a new poll shows Virginians favor keeping such statues in place.


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Virginia General Assembly

Republicans still in charge

The General Assembly opened a new session Wednesday with Republican M. Kirkland “Kirk” Cox of Colonial Heights in the speaker’s chair in the 100-member House of Delegates.

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Virginia NAACP steps up lobbying

Jesse Frierson is ensuring that the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP will have a strong, vocal presence at the General Assembly.

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More left in the cold

Hillside Court residents are plagued by same problem facing Creighton Court — no heat

Kanya N. Nash thinks its fine that some Creighton Court residents have had a chance to stay at a hotel free of charge because the heat failed in their public housing units.

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Creighton Court residents left in the cold

Florence Washington knows how to deal with the bitter cold when she goes outdoors. On a walk to the store, she was bundled up with a hat, earmuffs, heavy coat and several layers of clothing.

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FCC complaint filed over radio station change

Preston T. Brown is hoping that Washington can provide some help in his battle with the new owner of a Richmond AM station formerly known as WCLM 1450 that’s now called WUWN.

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Lady Luck to decide House race

Control of the House of Delegates is now in the hands of Lady Luck and several judges. The luck of the draw is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 4.

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County official chosen as new city auditor

Richmond City Council this week tapped a veteran of Chesterfield County government to make City Hall operations more efficient and track down waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. Louis G. “Lou” Lassiter, deputy Chesterfield County administrator, was approved to be the new city auditor at a special council meeting at Free Press deadline Wednesday night.

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‘Jury still out’

Mayor Levar M.Stoney finishes first year amid ambivalence despite human touch

Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney has probably shaken more hands, taken more selfies with city residents, issued more tweets and participated in more events, programs and festivals than any mayor in recent memory.

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Emancipation Proclamation Day event to feature Roslyn Brock as speaker

Richmond once again will celebrate one of the greatest days in American history — the emancipation of enslaved people.

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UNCI to move Dec. 31 to new home at former Richmond Christian Center

The Richmond Christian Center will end the year as the new home of United Nations Church International. The founder and pastor, Bishop Orrin K. Pullings Sr., and his wife and co-pastor, Dr. Medina Pullings, will lead the 700-member UNCI congregation in a procession from their current building at 5200 Midlothian Turnpike to their new, larger sanctuary at 214 Cowardin Ave. around 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 31.

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City loses last independent, black-owned radio station

WCLM-1450 AM, the last independent, African-American-owned radio station in Richmond, is off the air after 21 years.

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Bagby to lead Va. Legislative Black Caucus

Henrico Delegate Lamont Bagby will lead the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus in the 2018 General Assembly session.

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Newport News House race still up in the air

Control of the Virginia House of Delegates remains unsettled. At the last minute, the state Board of Elections postponed Wednesday’s drawing to decide the winner of a Newport News House seat.

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Tax law change to affect city utility customers

In an unexpected twist, Richmond’s utility customers could gain a few dollars of savings on their water, sewer and natural gas bills as the result of the tax overhaul bill that Congress passed last week and President Trump signed into law.

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Virginia elections commissioner responds to voter suppression claims

The commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections agrees there is plenty of reason to criticize Crosscheck, an interstate data system that allows participating states to ensure that voters do not have duplicate registrations to vote in other states.

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Questions, doubt about credibility of Rep. Robert C. Scott’s accuser

Instead, Marsheri Reese Everson appears to have completely fizzled with her claim that veteran Virginia Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-3rd, sexually harassed her when she worked in his office more than four years ago. Since Ms. Everson leveled the charge last Friday in the company of a Republican attorney and lobbyist known for embracing conspiracy theories, doubt has been raised about her credibility.

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Political control of House will come down to lucky draw

A drawing from a hat will decide control of the Virginia House of Delegates. That random draw will determine the winner of the 94th House District in Newport News — and with it whether Republicans retain a 51-49 majority in the 100-member chamber or whether the chamber becomes evenly split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, requiring a power-sharing arrangement.

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Mayor to use fellowship resources to help preserve Richmond’s slavery history

Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney is pledging to use a national fellowship he was awarded to help make Richmond a major destination for learning about America’s slavery past.

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Stallings family gets building permit for St. Luke project

It took eight months, but Wanda Stallings and her development team now have a city building permit to begin the renovation of the historic St. Luke Building in Gilpin Court.

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City challenged to find $ for new school buildings

The likelihood that City Hall will rush to build new school buildings under a plan the Richmond School Board is advancing appeared to dim at an Education Compact meeting Monday with Mayor Levar M. Stoney and Richmond City Council.

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Rev. Curtis W. Harris, civil rights activist, 1st black Hopewell mayor, dies at 93

The Rev. Curtis W. Harris Sr. devoted his life to battling the racism and bigotry that oppressed African-Americans in Hopewell and across Virginia.

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City Council OKs money for raises, Church Hill North project

Most city employees will receive fatter paychecks this Friday, Dec. 15, while construction of the first 105 apartments will be able to move ahead on the site of the former Armstrong High School off Nine Mile Road in the East End.